Brooklyn, NY– Preparations for Season 4 of the National Women’s Hockey League are in full flight. Today, the league confirmed that Free Agency will begin on June 1. In addition, registration for prospective players that were not drafted by NWHL teams is now open at NWHL.zone/freeagency. To be eligible, players must have graduated college.
The 2018-19 NWHL regular season is set to begin in October. The league took several additional giant steps forward during the 2017-18 season. Highlights included:
The NWHL became just the second professional women’s league in the world to sign a broadcast agreement with Twitter. Among the league’s biggest audiences: 580,000 for the All-Star Game in February and a combined 1.4 million for three playoff games in March.
More than half of the lineup of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Hockey Team that captured the gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics was comprised of NWHL players.
Just one month before the Olympic Team left for Pyeongchang, a team of NWHL all-stars travelled to Olympic headquarters in Tampa at the invitation of USA Hockey to play a two-game series against Team USA.
The New Jersey Devils became the first NHL franchise to form a strategic alliance with the league, signing a partnership with the Metropolitan Riveters. In December, Pegula Sports & Entertainment – owners of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and NHL’s Buffalo Sabres – made a complete acquisition of the NWHL’s Buffalo Beauts.
The NHL’s Minnesota Wild executed a partnership with the NWHL to be the hosts of 2018 NWHL All-Star Weekend in Saint Paul. Events were conducted at the newly-opened state-of-the-art satellite arena of the Wild.
On a remarkable goal by Alexa Gruschow (featured on ESPN, NHL Network and several other national newscasts) and shutout by Katie Fitzgerald, the Riveters defeated Buffalo in the Isobel Cup Final, 1-0. This week, Fitzgerald is participating in the USA Hockey Women’s National Goalie Development Camp.